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Mine haul road design and management: a review of current practice

Transactions of the Society for Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration , 2010, Vol. 328, No. 1, pp. 474-484

Thompson, R.J.


 Well-designed and maintained haul roads are the key to minimizing truck haulage onroad hazards and costs, as well as increasing productivity. In practice, however, designing and managing a haul road for optimal performance is often difficult to achieve, especially when resources assigned to design and construction are constrained. By understanding how a road design is developed from geometric, structural, functional and maintenance considerations and, critically, the interplay between these components in design and operation, optimal performance can be achieved.

This paper briefly summarizes the evolution of mine haul road design, from the seminal USBM work of Kaufman and Ault in 1977, through to current geometric, structural, functional and maintenance management design components. These augmented design and management guidelines have been developed over the past decade, both in response to the requirements of mine operators for safer and more efficient haulage systems, the truck manufacturers’ requirements for a more predictable and controlled operating environment and the recognition of human factors as a significant contributor to haulage accidents. While the human factor is the most problematic to address in a road design, the paper shows that the more that is known about human error, the better a road can be designed to accommodate those actions or non-standard practices that would, on a poorly designed road, invariably escalate an error into an accident.